Public art and collections

Our creative community is home to incredible commissioned public artwork and an extensive art collection.

Public art

In 1996 Darebin City Council embarked on one of the most ambitious public art programs in Australia outside a central business district. After nearly two decades the City of Darebin has earned an impressive reputation for enhancing its urban landscape with innovative public art projects. Read more to discover our public art and link to Darebin Arts.

If you'd like to find out more information about the Public Art Collection, to see the strategy, and to download your copy of the interactive Darebin Public Artworks Discovery Map, please visit Darebin Arts.

For information about registration of expression of interest - public art, and upcoming community workshops, please visit Darebin Arts.

Collections of Art within the City of Darebin include:

Three Follies

By Bush Projects 2014. “Three Follies” reconnects residents to the isolated island oasis of Ray Bramham Gardens by providing an interactive and playable work which honours the botanical theme of the park while subtly referencing the site’s industrial history. The artwork is a series of sunken, suburban garden follies, located at three key points within the space. A sunken arch appears as an architectural ruin suggestive of an old kiln, a brick hedge mimics the shape of a parterre garden and a stage forms a raised viewing platform to admire the pond.

Location: Ray Bramham Gardens, Preston

Fairfield Industrial Dog Object (FIDO)

By Alistair Knox, Ian Sinclair, Jacki Staude and David Davies. Through the use of sensors and digital controls, FIDO talks to passers by, wags its tail, wiggles its ears and lights up at night.

The materials used, the form and the interactive nature of this monumental work were chosen specifically to respond to the friendliness and vitality of Fairfield Village and enhance the sense of community for this dog-loving precinct.

Location: Fairfield

High Street, Westgarth

By Enver Camdal, Helen Bodycomb and Chris Rack. The artwork includes stainless steel broken insect wing segments, skeletal animal sections turned into bike racks, dog anchors, dragonfly wings on the power poles, glass mosaic sunk into the pavement and vibrant colours stretching along the strip.

Location: High Street, Northcote

Reconciliation Fountain

By Glenn Romanis. The fountain tells how water came back to the land after a long drought by making the frog that had swallowed all of the water laugh.

Location: Thornbury

Reg Parker Sculpture

By Reg Parker. The sculpture is an example of a classic formalist work by one of the early practitioners of the style in Australia. It is probably the earliest abstract sculpture in a public place in the northern region of Melbourne. The work is also socially significant as an example of government-funded visual arts policy of the Whitlam era, which had the expressed intention of placing contemporary Australian art in communities which were overlooked in the past.

Location: Preston Library, Preston


By Adrian Mauriks. The work relates to the themes the “Present” and “Future” with an emphasis on the natural environment. The colour and the reclining form, which appears embryonic, bring to mind birth and new beginnings and the bud, the flowering of life.

Location: Bundoora Park entrance, Bundoora

Koori Mural
St Georges Road Koori Mural

This iconic Mural suffered significant weather damage and material deterioration over the past three decades of being exposed to the elements but has recently been lovingly restored. The mural was designed by Megan Evans in consultation with a committee from the Aborigines Advancement League consisting of the late Lin Onus, the late Molly Dyer, the late Ron Johnson, the late Elizabeth Hoffman and was painted by renowned Aboriginal artists Ray Thomas, Ian Johnson, Millie Yarram, Les Griggs, Elaine Trott and Megan Evans with the help of many other volunteers.
Location: St George's Road, Thornbury

The Connection

By Michael Snape. The Connection depicts many people coming together in an animated, alive way, the separate components becoming one. It refers to the meaningful links between different groups in the community and the connections which contribute to harmony in Darebin.

The Nest

By David Bell and Gary Tippett. The symbolic egg form at the heart of this design echoes the hope for recovery and new life, and for the rebirth of the land. The piece also references the conservation role of the park and in particular the role this park plays for the many birds that live and nest within.

Location: Darebin Parklands, Fairfield

Well Place Preston

By Zabelski Han. The horse in this piece refers to the working animals that were part of Preston’s industrial history. The human, in offering the horse water, is providing it with nourishment. There is a connection that symbolises the inter-dependent relationship between them.

Location: Preston Library, Preston

The Anzac Memorial

By Down Street Studios and Cicada Blue Landscape Design 2002. The All Nations Park art works are a joint project between The City of Darebin and local RSL clubs and comprises several public works. The two illustrated here are:

Anzac Memorial 2002
The Bowing Soldier, a sculptural stainless steel soldier with bowing head and cast bronze slouch hat will form the centre of the veterans walk and suggests remembrance of those who have fallen in war, in particular the role of service men and women in WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam

Wing Tip Flag Pole 2002
A flood lit Stainless steel wing tip clad to flagpole, makes reference to the RAAF with design details from Australian Aircraft

Art collections

We acknowledge the importance of Darebin's cultural heritage and we maintain a substantial collection of contemporary artworks and historical items that reflect the artistic, social and political aspirations of the local community.

Artworks are acquired for the collection according to our Darebin Council’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy guidelines.

The collection comprises contemporary visual arts including:

  • Works on paper
  • Photographs
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles
  • Sculpture; urban
  • Public art
  • Historical documents
  • Heritage artefacts
  • Paintings

Where can I see the art collections?

The collection is displayed around Darebin in a variety of facilities including:

  • Bundoora Homestead Art Centre
  • Preston Town Hall
  • Northcote Town Hall
  • Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre
  • Bundoora Park
  • Darebin libraries
  • Customer Service Centres
  • Civic and leisure Centres
  • Public artworks displayed in the streets and parks throughout the municipality.

To view the collection visit the Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre Website.